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Dear Kiki: My friend is having fertility issues. How do I tell her I’m pregnant?


Questions about love, sex or relationship can be submitted to dearkiki@littlevillagemag.com, or anonymously using this form. Questions may be edited for clarity and length, and may appear either in print or online.

Dear Kiki,

I have a really good friend who has been trying for over a year to get pregnant and is really frustrated that it’s taking so long. She confides in me and I offer what emotional support I can without proffering unsolicited advice, and I’m glad she trusts me. She’s sick of people giving her advice and is kind of losing hope. Problem is, I just found out that I’m pregnant after trying for only a month. I was assuming it would take longer and was surprised it happened “first try,” as it were. I’m really nervous to tell her because I don’t want her to feel any bitterness, jealousy or resentment about it. I don’t want this to affect our friendship. Since I’m still early on, I haven’t told anyone except for my boyfriend and a couple really old friends from school. But when the time comes for me to break the news, I’m really afraid of inadvertently hurting her feelings. How should I handle this?

—Embarazada

Dear Embarazada,

While it’s valuable and kind that you’re concerned about your friend’s feelings, you may have stumbled upon a no-win scenario here. It seems highly unlikely that, given the circumstances, you’ll remain her confidant once she knows you’re expecting: Not because of anything you’ve done, but simply because watching your belly grow may be too triggering for her. She can’t be expected to feign excitement through her sadness any more than you should be expected to dampen your excitement.

That doesn’t mean you should give up on this relationship. On the contrary, perhaps you can prime some mutual acquaintances to step into the gap that you will be leaving. You seem to have a distinct ability to understand her need for support without advice, and if you can help someone else truly come to that understanding as well, they might be able to take your place, so to speak. Because, Embarazada, when the time comes for you to have your child, and if she eventually has one as well, you’ll learn the wisdom of the axiom that “it takes a village” — having just one person to rely on, no matter how wonderful they are, will likely be insufficient, and it will serve you both well to have broadened your base of support.

Remember, Embarazada, that you can’t control your friend’s feelings. This is frankly a damned good lesson for you to be learning as you prepare to be a first-time parent. You will hurt her feelings, just as you will find that things outside your control cause your child to be unfathomably upset. Steel yourself. It’s not fun, but it’s necessary. All you can do is monitor your intentions and be there when they’re ready to turn to you.

It sucks to hear, but she likely will feel bitterness, jealousy and resentment. That’s her burden to bear, and the worst thing you can do is make her feel worse about it by centering your feelings on the matter. Sometimes, life just gets in the way. It’s not a matter of “fault” on the part of either of you, but it’s real and better faced than avoided. Just be honest with her, Embarazada. Honesty and patience are what will salvage this friendship, not caution and attempts at perfection. And remember too, pragmatically, that the further along you get in your pregnancy, the more your emotions will be heightened — so don’t wait too long to tell her. Do it soon, take it seriously and don’t make her reactions about you. Let her experience the full range of her feelings about this. Attempting to manage her emotions is in the same category as giving her advice: to be avoided.

xoxo, Kiki

This article was originally published in Little Village’s August 2022 issues.


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